(CNN Student News) -- April 18, 2011
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A couple stories we first reported on Friday have developed and changed over the weekend, So today, CNN Student News is catching you up! I'm Carl Azuz. Let's get this show started!
AZUZ: It was the kind of forecast we don't like to hear: Predictions of tornadoes as cold air combined with warm air in a storm system sweeping across the Southeast. This map shows you who was in the path of the storms over the weekend. Several states were affected. More than 40 people were killed. At least 23 of those deaths were in North Carolina. Of the 100+ tornadoes seen during this storm, we don't know yet how many of them touched down in North Carolina. But there's no doubt the state was the hardest hit -- a CNN meterologist described the effects as "epic." TJ Holmes from CNN Sunday Morning gives you a glimpse of the kind of damage these storms left behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy crap!
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Transformers exploded. Cars tossed. Trees toppled. All made for a wild spring night in parts of the Southeast. In Alabama, there are reports of tornadoes touching down in at least six counties. This woman in Tuscaloosa ran into her hallway as the storm hit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got in the hallway I could hear this, I don't know what kind of noise, a whizzing, crackling. It scared me.
HOLMES: In nearby Birmingham, heavy winds knocked down power lines and tore off roofs. Further south in Washington County, Alabama, a large tornado was reported on the ground. This house was flattened; tossed yards from its foundation. In Mississippi, folks are waking up to a state of emergency in 14 counties. A twister ripped through Interstate 20 in Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The funnel crowd dropped right there at the laundromat. And we were lucky we even got in the door. And it just crossed, went behind us and crossed I-20. In like five minutes, it was over.
HOLMES: Even blew over an 18-wheeler. It also ripped through local businesses and homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At first, we heard a lot of wind blowing and something sounded like a train, a whistle. Then, all of a sudden, we've seen like a black funnel cloud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw people standing outside. We didn't know why. So, we just decided to go and see, too, and we saw all this damage out here.
HOLMES: In the Atlanta area, a tornado watch was in effect for most of the night. Heavy rain and hail blasted several counties, fallen trees, pummeled homes. When this woman came to check on her parents after large tree uprooted and fell through their roof.
TABITHA OWENS, PARENTS' HOME HIT BY TREE: I thought the Lord was looking after them because my daddy was right there next to that window and the tree barely missed him.
AZUZ: Black Hawk helicopters. Boots on the ground from dozens of states. It sounds like a military operation. It's what's been assembled to battle Texas' raging wildfires. Between Friday and Sunday, the size of the wildfires doubled. Hundreds of thousands of acres -- that's like a hundreds of thousands of football fields -- have burned. And weather conditions aren't helping: It's been hot, dry and windy, and that does little but fan the flames.
Is This Legit?
STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is This Legit? On the periodic table, the atomic symbol for uranium is Ur. Not legit! The symbol is simply "U" for this radioactive element.
Damaged Nuke Plant
AZUZ: Uranium is the element that fuels nuclear power plants. And when the machines that control the nuclear reactions break down, you could have a meltdown or a radiation leak -- something very dangerous to humans, to the environment -- something we're seeing in Japan right now. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was badly damaged after Japan's earthquake and tsunami. Now, the company that owns it has an estimate of how long this will take to fix: six to nine months. Part of the plan: build concrete shells around the damaged reactors to keep radiation levels in check. And only when the area is decontaminated from radiation will the Japanese government let tens of thousands of people return to their homes in the area.
AZUZ: The fact that some of the events were canceled for rain didn't stop people from remembering. Saturday was the fourth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting -- the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Hundreds of people hit the pavement on the "run for remembrance." It's one way the shooting victims were honored. People there observed a moment of silence, while some survivors of the event -- and family members of the victims -- attended a memorial service. It's something Virginia Tech students say they'll never forget.
JONATHAN GAINES, VIRGINIA TECH DOCTORAL STUDENT: It's very symbolic of really, nothing stopping this community from remembering. Nothing is really going to stop us from remembering the 32 that we lost on that day.
CHRISTINE BINGHAM,VIRGINIA TECH SOPHOMORE: Everybody is remembering it. Everybody is kind of showing their respect, even Mother Nature
AZUZ: Our next story today: no bagged lunches. If it's packed from home, you can't bring it to a public elementary school in Chicago. The policy at Little Village Academy has been in place for years. The principal, who is authorized to make and maintain this rule, says it's more healthy for kids to eat school food. And unless they have a medical condition, they're not allowed to pack lunches from home. Not everyone agrees from this. Many students don't like the policy. Critics say it should be up to parents -- not the school -- to decide what students eat. And the Chicago Tribune found that some students don't eat lunch at all and that those who do, sometimes throw it away.
AZUZ: This policy does provide extra dollars for the school's lunch provider. But many of the students are on government-assisted meal plans, so for the most part, money is not the issue here. Where do you stand on this? Do you think you'd make healthier choices, if school food were the only food you could have for lunch? Our blog is open at CNNStudentNews.com!
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! The difference between the price you pay and what the seller paid for something is called a what? Here we go! Is it red ink, markup, capital gain or deductible? You've got three seconds -- GO! Markup is the best answer here. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
Beware of the $ale
AZUZ: Even when you get something on sale, you're still usually paying for a store's mark-up. It's just a lower mark-up than what the store originally had. If it works, it helps the store stay in business, it saves you a few bucks, and everybody's happy. In our continuing coverage of Financial Literacy Month, Ben Tinker meets us at the mall for a look at what influences us to buy.
BEN TINKER, CNNMONEY.COM: Carl, what better place to talk about a really good sale, or maybe a really bad sale, than the mall. I'm here with Ryan Mack. Sales!
RYAN MACK, PRESIDENT, OPTIMUM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: How's it going?
TINKER: Tricky. Tricky, tricky things.
MACK: All day.
TINKER: When you see that sales sign you really want it. You feel like you've won something, almost.
MACK: Essentially, they try to fool you with the sale. They create the sale. They know most people don't shop unless there is a sale. So essentially what they'll do is they'll go out and they'll purchase a shirt for maybe $10. They'll mark it up to $40, which is a 300% markup, and they'll mark it down to $20. They are still making 100% profit off of it but because they are going to say a 50% off blowout sale to make individuals who only shop when there is a sale come running to the mall. So essentially, this is a strategy to make people spend more money.
TINKER: Sometimes you feel a little bit guilty. You'll try on 8, 10 pairs of shoes . You feel like you should buy something from the salesperson, but not always.
MACK: You know what? By the time you've tried that pair of shoes on, or 5, or 6 pairs of shoes and that salesperson is going back and forth, you know what? You feel a little bit bad. You know what? "Maybe I should, I need to buy a pair of shoes right now."
TINKER: One other thing I want to ask you about is impulse control. Because, so many times we see something someone else has, no matter what it is, you want it.
MACK: I mean, this is what they do. They will purposefully understock that shoe. That's selling out. "Where's my 10 1/2 shoe?" and that item is gone, now you have more of an impulse inside of you that, "I have to be the first person in line to make sure I can get in line and have the privilege of paying $200 for that next pair of Air Jordan shoes."
TINKER: And they're really drumming up the excitement. All right. Well, Carl, there you have it. Lots and lots of different ways stores are going to get you in the door. A sale might not always be a bad thing; it might not be the right thing, though, so you really just have to think about what works for you and your budget. Carl?
Before We Go
AZUZ: Well, before we go today, it was one hot prize for a basketball fan. And all he had to do was keep his seat and know a bit of trivia. For 48 hours, dozens of Miami heat fans sat outside the arena in the hopes of outlasting all others. They were given food and bathroom breaks, but otherwise, they had to stay put. Complaints of stiff knees, back aches, temperatures in the high 80s, which are pretty typical for Miami this time of year: Those conditions kept things comfortless. And with 35 people still left after 48 hours, sponsors used trivia to narrow down the one winner.
AZUZ: In the end, it was a man named Ramon Perez arose a winner, taking home two lower-level tickets to all of the Heat's home playoff games. A seat in the heat for a seat with the Heat made Perez a real stand-up guy. Hope you'll stand for more headlines and hopefully more puns, when CNN Student News returns tomorrow. See ya then.